Chaiwoo Lee Discusses Future of Home Technology at Ohio Housing Conference
by Adam Felts
What will the home of the future look like? With an aging population and changing lifestyles, we will be asking our homes to do more for us than ever before.
Chaiwoo Lee discussed advances in home technology in a presentation for the Ohio Housing Conference. Her presentation drew primarily upon findings from the AgeLab's C3 Connected Home Logistics Consortium.
The next generation of older adults, the Baby Boomers, are far tech-savvier than their predecessors, and as a result, are more capable of using technology to address wants, needs, and challenges that arise as they age. Today, there are already several tech-enabled products and services that are expressly intended to assist older adults, such as Honor, a caregiving app, Stitch, a friendship and dating app for older users, and Rendever, a virtual reality company that designs virtual experiences specifically for senior living communities. In addition, many products that were not designed for older users may be of substantial use for older adults and their caregivers, such as voice assistants, wearable technologies, and smart home products - not to mention the ubiquitous smartphone and popular apps such as Uber and Lyft.
In the future, Dr. Lee said, we can imagine a home that is highly technologized, with most of its functions being autonomous and interconnected, and capable of responding in real-time to the preferences and needs of its residents. In this expert panel session, Dr. Lee also emphasized that a seamless integration of various systems, an intuitive user experience, and consumer trust in security will be necessary for a future connected home to deliver its value.
Additionally, Dr. Lee discussed how COVID-19 may be impacting our attitudes toward and usage of our homes. The pandemic spurred the purchase and adoption of new home technologies in order to cope with at-home work, learning, and caregiving. With these new uses of the home also come new meanings of what 'home' is and encompasses - attitudes that may remain with us long after the pandemic.